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Northern Highlands Daily Voice serves Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Midland Park, Saddle River, Upper Saddle River & Waldwick

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Upper Saddle River Celebrates Its Own, Seeks Recruits

From left, 7-year-old Hailey Goris and her grandmother, Joy Gurgick. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Mayor Joanne Minichetti and Town Day Chairperson Esau Ali. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Lions Club President James Murphy dons the mascot costume at Upper Saddle River Town Day. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J. -- Town Day gave the borough a chance to show off its best yesterday while offering the opportunity for others to join their ranks.

Boy Scout troops grilled burgers and dogs, while volunteers served beverages and treats to hundreds who turned out at Lions Park on Lake Street. The Syncopated Seniors women's tap group, a pair of clowns, a magician and deejay all provided entertainment.

Gusty thunderstorms held off long enough for most of the events to go on as planned.

"Some people think it is controversial to have a celebration so close to September 11," said Esau Ali, the Town Day chairman. "But it's important for organizations to show themselves in the community in a fun way. Otherwise, they don't survive."

Members of the USR Volunteer Ambulance Corps sat before two ambulances, soliciting donations for a new vehicle to replace their 2003 model.

So far, the corps has raised more than $200,000 -- not including the cost of a stretcher and other equipment. More volunteers are also needed to round out a staff of 20 to 25 members.

"Working to become an EMT is like getting an associate's degree while you have a full-time job," said eight-year squad veteran Lauren Ludwig.

"We have the dedicated shifts and have to show up at town events, but I don't mind it," she said. "We're like a big family."

"Hurricane Sandy was proof that we were able to save many lives and save the borough a heck of a lot of money by responding to calls," said Crew Chief and Director Cynthia Dilatush, a 15-year department volunteer.

Meanwhile, the Lions Club solicited young members to become Leos.

"We have been building the group," said the club's public relations director, David Verducci. "So when kids start a new school, they are already feel connected to a group, and then those groups are connected to each other and to the Lions Club."

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